Express Patio Makeover
Joe Swift has got some handy suggestions on transforming
a patio or city garden in a jiffy
This is the perfect time of year to give the garden
a quick makeover. As the garden is being seen more and
more as an outdoor room - somewhere to relax, eat, play
and generally enjoy, the patio or terrace area becomes
the place to concentrate most of your efforts.
Whether it just needs freshening by filling a few planting
gaps or something a bit more drastic it's worth doing
it now so it can be used to its maximum potential throughout
First thing to do is to hire a pressure washer and pressure
wash any decks, paths or patios - they'll come up like
new and inspire you to do more.
As the fear of frosts
is now over you can get in some bedding and more tender
plants into the garden. Rather than the standard geraniums
and busy lizzies, why not try something a bit different?
With their brilliant flowers and exotic foliage the
Canna lilies ( Canna x genaralis) will add a real tropical
holiday feel to the garden and work as well in pots
as they do in the ground.
Osteospermum 'whirlygig' (cape daisy) is one of the
funkiest bedding plants around. The powder blue centres
are perfectly set off by the white and mauve paddle-shaped
petals. Again they can go pretty much anywhere as a
filler and if you're in a mild area or are really lucky
they'll come back again next year.
I'm a firm believer that fewer large plants in large
pots look better than lots of small ones randomly dotted
on a small terrace. With lots of water the bamboos such
as the black bamboo (phyllostachys 'nigra') or the golden
bamboo (phyllostachys 'aurea') do well in pots (add
some supergel granules to stop them drying out). They
will add real height without spreading too far and look
fantastic in small city gardens.
Try bold coloured
pots (golds, reds and burgundies) or a really, effective
and simple trick is to paint existing terracotta pots
with a masonry paint. Other big plants, which make an
instant impact and also look great in small space are
banana palms (musa basjoo)- perfect for the shady garden
and Canary Island date plam (phoenix canariensis).
with premission from Greenfingers.com